What Is Google Tag Manager and How to Add Tracking Pixels to It?

March 12, 2021

Google Tag Manager

Americans are exposed to an average of 6,000 advertisements every single day.

Does that make you wonder how your brand marketing will be able to make a splash?

You aren’t alone in your worry at the over-saturation of digital ads consumers experience daily. The good news is that there are ways to make your marketing tactics speak directly to your audience using a tracking pixel.

Digital marketing may appear to be a ‘throw everything at the wall’ strategy to find what makes sense for your product. Yet, the best digital strategies are those built from data, and this is where tracking pixels become all-important.

Continue reading below on how to use Google Tag Manager and a tracking pixel to transform your marketing.

Google Tag Manager Explained

Collecting and reading data used to be a manual process and accomplished only by third-party developers. Now, Google Tag Manager (GTM) has become the go-to, easy-to-use process.

GTM is a simple tool that allows a business owner – you – to make and track specific consumer data in the form of actions. Actions include:

  • Website visits
  • Sales conversions
  • Checkouts
  • Ad clicks

GTM puts data analytics into any team member’s hands, even those without strong technical abilities. It makes it easy to organize and store tags from Google Analytics, Facebook pixels, or other 3rd party institutions.

You now have easy tracking pixels that create actionable insight for your brand’s marketing.

What Are Tracking Pixels

GTM functions on the creation of a tracking pixel to understand customer’s digital journeys. But what are tracking pixels?

Tracking pixels are lines of code that observe customers’ online actions, website traffic, conversion history, and other data entries.

Tracking pixels are the reason you accept or decline cookies on every website you visit. You give the company permission to track certain actions you take by accepting cookies used later on to target consumers with specific ads.

The pixel activates when customers visit your website. It tracks and shares information such as their browser, particular clicks, and user website flow.

This happens without the client being interrupted in their journey with your brand. However, the tracking pixel provides a robust understanding to you that can help create future sales or conversions.

Using Data from a Tracking Pixel

As a busy entrepreneur, you don’t have the time to parse through copious amounts of data to strengthen your marketing strategies. That is why a tracking pixel is so valuable to your business.

A tracking pixel gives you insight on things such as:

  • Time and date of website visits
  • Customer actions on the website
  • Web client used to access a webpage
  • Screen resolutions

The information allows you to build stronger digital marketing and retarget consumers with more impact. You can optimize an advertisement based on what platform someone used or what they have recently searched for online.

GTM makes it easy to add tracking pixels to your site or app without the need for a third-party or developer team. The data is delivered quickly and in an easy-to-digest format.

Setting Up Tracking Pixels on Google

Accomplish your marketing strategy in a few straightforward steps to setting up Google Tag Manager with your tracking pixels.

Learn the Basics

Creating and using your GTM means understanding the basics of the platform and what happens behind the scenes. Most importantly, GTM functions on tags, triggers, and Google Analytics events.

A tag is a code that records an action taken by a user or customer on your website. They can be custom or 3rd party generated, such as social media pixels. Triggers tell your GTM which tag to activate and when.

Google Analytics helps track actions that take more customization. Events are specific actions that have many variables at play. You can build the event in Google Analytics and connect it to GTM for easy tracking.

Set Up Your Google Tag Manager Account

Setting up your account is a simple process. You just need to input your business’s information and mark the right team members as managers/admin.

Google will instruct you to set up a container which is the essential part of this process. A container is the tag management system that will keep your tags organized for optimal efficiency.

You should use one container for all website tags.

Make sure to read all the steps and extra information in the process. This can be unfamiliar territory for those who don’t understand website coding.

Create Your Pixels

Social media sites and other platforms can watch the activity on your website via pixels. Creating them is a relatively simple process! Decide which platforms you want monitoring your website and its movement.

Facebook pixels are a common choice and a great starting place for brands. Use the Facebook Ad Manager and follow the steps under Measure & Report > Events Manager > Pixel.

You can connect Ads Manager or other platforms to GTM through the platform itself or copy and paste pixel IDs into the Tag Manager.

You can then install the GTM pixel on your website with ease to track and understand customer activity.

Add Tracking Pixels via Tags

The next part of the process after creating your pixels is adding them to GTM via tags. Google makes it simple with comprehensive on-screen instructions.

  1. Select Tags and click New
  2. Name the tag something that makes it easy for you to understand
  3. Go to tag configuration
  4. Select which tag type represents the tag you’re setting up or use Custom HTML
  5. Select the tag firing (when) and the firing triggers (such as “All Pages” or specific button clicks)

Make sure to save all your tags before moving into the final step.

Test and Publish

GTM allows you to preview your tags before publishing. This makes for a final step to using a tracking pixel for your digital marketing!

Click the preview button in the top right, open your website on another page, and click through the pages. GTM will show what tags are working on the Tag Assistant page.

Double-check to make sure all your tags work through the Assistant page and save everything when complete.

Start Using Google Tag Manager Today

Your digital marketing strategies grow when you have the right data behind every advertisement, webpage, or customer conversation. GTM allows you to understand your customer and create marketing that converts. Follow the steps above to use a tracking pixel and put the marketing power back in your hands.

Don’t just stop there! Review our services to find the next powerful transformation you want your marketing to undergo.